Give Your Office Door A Star Trek “Swoosh” Sound Effect

Feel like you are entering the bridge every time you come into your office by reproducing the Star Trek “swooshing” door sound.  This trick uses a Webcam that sense motion, which triggers a script that plays the sound file.  If you want something more professional looking, check out the Star Trek Door Panel on ThinkGeek. Continue reading “Give Your Office Door A Star Trek “Swoosh” Sound Effect”

More Minnesota Testing Woes: Scripting MN ACT Compass Test

While not nearly as awful as Pearson’s TestNav, the Web-based MN ACT Compass Test still requires manual intervention before students are able to test–enough that some scripting is warranted.

The technical requirements are much better than Pearson’s, but this test requires that each workstation needs to be registered before anyone can take a test on it.  So imagine if you wanted to test 100 students.  Each of them need a computer.  Before they can test, the technical staff needs to: Continue reading “More Minnesota Testing Woes: Scripting MN ACT Compass Test”

terminal-notifer Scripts Via the JSS

Scripts run as root when executed via the JSS.  This caused problems when trying to send notifications using terminal-notifier to users because root does not have a NotificationCenter instance, so any script using terminal-notifier would hang.  The trick to get around that is to run the command as the user.

I have been converting a lot of my shell scripts over to Python as it is more flexible and powerful.  This is script I wrote to send notifications while running as root. Continue reading “terminal-notifer Scripts Via the JSS”

Give Your Mac A Voice-activated Self Destruct Command (Just Like Star Trek)

OS X Yosemite has a new feature called Dictation Commands.  This allows you to press Function key twice, speak your command, and then have the computer do something for you.  While there are some useful built in ones, it is much more interesting to make your own.

In this example, I make a Star Trek-style auto-destruct mechanism, which will destroy all the data on my hard drive and make it crash (not really, but there are ways to do this). Continue reading “Give Your Mac A Voice-activated Self Destruct Command (Just Like Star Trek)”

Scripting Pearson’s TestNav on Windows Using Python

Getting Pearson’s Web-based TestNav to work on OS X was challenging enough, but getting it to work on Windows is also difficult.  Fortunately, Windows can run Python–even though it isn’t installed by default like OS X.  And Python is great for scripting and automating mundane tasks.  Pair that with some Group Policy Objects (GPOs), and you have saved yourself a lot of time! Continue reading “Scripting Pearson’s TestNav on Windows Using Python”